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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

From Wind Repertory Project
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (b. 1987, Agoura Hills, Calif.) is an American composer.

Smith grew up off the northwest coast of Washington state, surrounded by the woods and rocky shores of Orcas Island. Her family moved from time to time along the West Coast and homeschooled Smith for parts of her pre-college education. It wasn't until her teens that she became interested in music.

Smith has been breaking into the world of scoring with small projects like Reggie Watts' Brasilia. The desire to work with soundtracks has been with her since the beginning. "When I would play the piano," she says, "I would have a whole movie going on in my head, or like a scene. That made me want to compose for visuals, when I first started to experience that I have such a visual connection to sound." Perhaps strongest of all is her love for animation, specifically the work of Japanese auteur Hayao Miyazaki.

A long series of events set Smith on the path to where she is today, beginning with the year she spent living at a Krishna temple. What's most notable about Smith's time at the temple is how it planted the seed of writing her own music. Smith says, "The first music I created was for chants. My teacher gave me a bunch of chants and was like, 'Here, make soundtracks to these.'"

Though she was fascinated with the Krishna way of life, Smith realized it wasn't for her. She decided to go into formal education, and was accepted to study at Berklee College Of Music in Boston. "I originally went for voice," she says. "After the first semester I switched to classical guitar, and the whole time I was studying sound engineering."

Smith's studied interests and intricate methods are part of a larger dichotomy at the core of her music, where orchestration meets accidents. "I really like that part of music where you feel like it has a mind of its own. You're kind of riding the line of making it happen and feeling like it's also guiding your experience." Those concepts are reflected in her album's narratives.

Works for Winds